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Things to do in Sydney this weekend

Find all the best events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

A woman standing with a dog on a bar in front of liquor bottles.
Photograph: Supplied
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This weekend is all about art and animals, and we’re adoring it. There are cute doggie days and walks supporting animal welfare groups and great new art exhibitions opening around the city this week. If your allergies are playing up, head to one of the final shows at the Sydney Comedy Festival instead.

If the cold(ish) snap hit you by surprise, pick up some woolly duds and winter-thick blankets from Sydney’s best op shops and antique stores.

RECOMMENDED: The best dog beaches in Sydney.

Find the best things to do this weekend

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Bill Henson Roslyn Oxley9
Bill Henson, 'untitled', 2017-2018
Art, Photography

Bill Henson

icon-location-pin Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Paddington
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There are few Australian artists whose work is as distinctive and immediately recognisable as Bill Henson – and arguably no Australian photographers who are as well known. He's best known for his portraits of adolescent subjects presented in dark, dramatic settings. He'll be presenting a new collection of works for this exhibition.

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Prima Facie
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre, Drama

Prima Facie

icon-location-pin SBW Stables Theatre - Griffin Theatre Company, Darlinghurst
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Suzie Miller is an award-winning playwright, but she’s also a lawyer and in this play argues that our legal system needs a major rejig. Sheridan Harbridge stars in this one-woman show as a lawyer who finds herself questioning all she believes in when she ends up on the other side of the equation. 

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OK Democracy, We Need to Talk
Photograph: Abdullah MI Syed. Courtesy the artist.
Art

OK Democracy, We Need to Talk

icon-location-pin Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown
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With the federal election this weekend, Campbelltown Arts Centre is taking a stand through a new exhibition. Drawing inspiration from the idea of free media as a pillar of democracy, 11 artists explore themes surrounding identity politics, environmental issues, political structures, economies of labour, currency and nationalism. 

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52 Artists 52 Actions Artspace 2019
Abdul Halik Azeez for 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS, September, 2018, courtesy the artist
Art

52 Artists, 52 Actions

icon-location-pin Artspace, Wooloomooloo
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Hailing from a wide range of ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, continents, the project, which began in January 2018, aims to generate a continuously unfolding archive of creative responses to political and social issues, and inspire audiences to consider the change-making power of art. The resulting exhibition opens at Artspace.

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kate miller-heidke eurovision, crowd watching
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Eurovision Sydney Party

icon-location-pin Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst
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Not keen on tuning in at 5am on May 19 for the grand Eurovision final? Join a bunch of Song Contest devotees at the Oxford Art Factory for the evening screening. You’ll get to enjoy the show at a reasonable hour, and dress to impress – fraggles, feathers, sequins and sparkles will be in abundance – to win the best on-ground outfit. 

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Runners leading the race at Sydney Half Marathon
Photograph: Michele Mossop
Sport and fitness

Sydney Half Marathon

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While dedicated long-distance runners might be perturbed by the word ‘half’, this 21.1km race ain’t a small feat. The endurance-testing course takes competitors on a scenic route, starting at St Mary's Cathedral, winding through the Royal Botanic Gardens, across the Harbour Bridge, around the Opera House, finishing in Hyde Park. 

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Stall holder at the Westies Markets displaying her fashion designs
Photograph: Supplied
Shopping, Markets

The Westies Markets

icon-location-pin Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School, Western Sydney
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The non-for-profit collective behind this market, the Westies, is all about showcasing the Penrith region while giving local growers and makers the opportunity to sell their wares. They’re aiming to create a lazy Sunday atmosphere, where you get to know the community rather than fight over the bargain bin. 

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Art, Photography

Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize

icon-location-pin Juniper Hall, Paddington
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The finalists of this annual photographic prize are literal snapshots of all sorts of people and scenarios from across the country. There's a pretty wide remit as to how the photographers can work, but the key is that they show how they experience life in Australia.

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Two womean sitting with a dog Sydney Vegan Market
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Markets

Sydney Vegan Market

icon-location-pin The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park
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Sydney Vegan Market brings together 100 stalls selling 100 per cent plant-based food and drink, homewares, fashion, art and cosmetics from some of the biggest names in cruelty-free shopping. It's a full day of eating, shopping, activism and education, and it's kid-, family- and dog-friendly.

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Things to do

The Million Paws Walk

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Sydney’s good boys and girls will be stepping it out in a floof pack for the Million Paws Walk at Cathy Freeman Park, Sydney Olympic Park. This annual walk for doggos and their owners raises money for the RSPCA in their efforts to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals across Australia.

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Cyprus Avenue Old Fitz Theatre 2019 supplied
Photograph: Pier Carthew
Theatre, Drama

Cyprus Avenue

icon-location-pin Old Fitzroy Theatre, Wooloomooloo
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David Ireland’s play follows Belfast loyalist Eric, whose world begins to unravel when he decides his five-week-old granddaughter looks like (Irish republican politician) Gerry Adams. Eric’s paranoia and shattered sense of self leads him to an act of unspeakable horror.

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In-Formalism Casula powerhouse 2019
Art

IN-Formalism

icon-location-pin Casula Powerhouse, Casula
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While abstraction in Australian art is nothing new, it’s only recently that the importance of these works has started to be recognised. Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre’s latest exhibition traces the evolution of Australian abstract non-objective art from 1968 onwards, alongside design, textiles, advertising, architecture, urban design and film works.

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Glasses of sparkling wine.
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Sparkling Sydney

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Our harbourside town is a primo spot to toss back a prosecco with brunch or a sparkling accompanied by a salty oyster, so it feels appropriate that a festival honouring sparkling wine is arriving on our shores. It’s offering tastings of more than 60 local and international fizzy pours plus gin-based bubbly. The best part? Entry is free.

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Art

Asad Raza: Absorption

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New York-based artist Asad Raza is bringing the outdoors in at Carriageworks' Clothing Store, with 300 tonnes of soil and other organic material covering the entire ground floor of the building. It's being slowly mixed together and cared for by a group of "cultivators" who'll tell you how they're bringing this "neosoil" together and their scientific (and artistic) processes.

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Alice Fraser Mythos 2019
Photograph: Supplied
Comedy, Stand Up

Alice Fraser: Mythos

icon-location-pin The Enmore Theatre, Newtown
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Alice Fraser is an ex-corporate lawyer who quit the profession when she found she was writing more jokes than contracts. Her cheery and disarming style has seen her sell out shows in Edinburgh, London and New York, and her upcoming show is all about the lies we tell about ourselves.

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Art, Galleries

The Archibald Prize

icon-location-pin Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
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The Archibald Prize is the exhibition that stops a nation – well, a city anyway. Everyone has an opinion about who and what is most deserving of the $100,000 top gong – and the annual exhibition of finalists offers plenty to argue over, featuring faces familiar and not, by big name, mid-career and emerging painters.

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Winyanboga Yurringa Belvoir 2019
Photograph: Daniel Boud
Theatre, Drama

Winyanboga Yurringa

icon-location-pin Belvoir St Theatre, Surry Hills
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In 1981, a groundbreaking miniseries called Women of the Sun aired on SBS, telling the story of four Aboriginal women living in Australia between the 1820s and 1980s. Andrea James’ new play was inspired by the series and acts as a kind of fifth chapter, adding another generation to the fold.

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American Psycho The Musical Hayes Theatre 2019 supplied
Photograph: George Sandman Popov
Theatre, Musicals

American Psycho The Musical

icon-location-pin Hayes Theatre Co, Elizabeth Bay
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It was famously turned into a film starring Christian Bale, and the musical version takes its 1980s Wall Street vibes to the nth degree. Patrick, played by Ben Gerrard, is the narrator in the musical, which has a score by Tony Award winner Duncan Sheik alongside classic ’80s songs. Expect blood. Lots of blood.

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Nina Oyama Needs a Lift 2019
Photograph: Supplied
Comedy, Stand Up

Nina Oyama Needs a Lift

icon-location-pin The Factory Theatre, Marrickville
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Nina Oyama is making her solo stand-up show debut with this set about her journeys as a black market taxi driver. But she’s definitely not a newcomer to comedy, having appeared at Just For Laughs at the Sydney Opera House, on the ABC series Utopia, and as a reporter for Tonightly with Tom Ballard.

Treat yo'self

Sol Spa Vaucluse
Photograph: Supplied
Health and beauty, Spas

The best spas in Sydney

Whether you want hardcore results, or just a bit of chill time, Sydney's palaces of self-rejuvenation have you covered. Spend a full day treating yo'self to a royal experience, or just duck in for a quick but life-giving massage. Book it, bring a magazine and prepare to bliss out.

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